Fat Pizza

April 17th, 2003 Film, Film Reviews, Xpress

Directed By; Paul Fenech

Starring; Paul Fenech, Johnny Boxer, Paul Nakad, Annalise Braakensiek, Jabba, Tahir Bilgic, Rob Shehadie, Maria Venuti, Tuyen Le.

Tropfest regular (and 2001 winner) Paul Fenech hit paydirt taking his idea for a half-hour comedy about pizza delivery to SBS. According to a statement from the producer, SBS wanted a local show that was irreverent and politically incorrect like the other jewel in their comedy crown, South Park.

Irreverent and politically incorrect they got. Whether or not they were counting on gross, puerile, idiotic or simplistic is uncertain. Fat Pizza shows a level of comic sophistication that makes Kingswood Country look like the work of Oscar Wilde.

But you don’t eat pizza for the rich variety of carefully prepared tastes and textures of a gourmet meal — sometimes you just need a fast hit of junk food.

Approach Fat Pizza in the same way. It isn’t without its merits and doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is — the laughs come often and honestly even if they’re cheap and sometimes sick (as opposed to sik).

Pauly and his mates Sleek, Davo, Habib and Rocky deliver pizza for Fat Pizzas, run by the menacing and psychotic Bobo. While Bobo lives under the thrall of his overprotective Italian mother pining for his mail order bride (on a tiny boat on her way from Asia), the guys do what they do best; drive around in souped up wogmobiles, dodge everyone from the police to their food industry competitors and nail as many skanky chicks as they can.

Fat Pizza takes as many insensitive, below-the-belt digs as it possibly can, from refugee detention centres and Lindy Chamberlain to Ivan Milat, intersection windscreen washers and the general suburban scene for young Middle Eastern youths in Fat Pizza’s local Sydney.

The film’s one extraordinary achievement is the collection of every possible personality in the Australian entertainment industry in cameos. Look for Angry Anderson, Kamahl, Bernard King, Tim Anderson, Red Symonds, Merv Hughes, Maria Venuti and a host of others whose faces you know you’ve seen before. A big drawcard for the male crowd is Annalise Braakensiek, who shows formidable performing range against type by playing a stupid blonde’

Fat Pizza takes everything that concerns a sik young wog on the cusp of maturity — fights, burnouts, rooting and his mates. The rhythm chops and changes as often as the coked-up camerawork, and the story the film describes takes up no more than half an hour in total — mostly the proceedings go off on unrelated tangents to display more pubescent slapstick.

And, like South Park, a half-hour TV show doesn’t translate as well to a 100-plus minute movie. Just like you can eat too much pizza, you’ll start to feel overdosed into the second half.

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